Wellness & Screens

  • A Framework for Digital Training: Provisional Licenses

    A Framework for Digital Training: Provisional Licenses

    What’s the path for teens and preteens once the Congressional hearings on social media wrap up?  Ideas are likely to come from the transportation field.  There will be talk about using guardrails to keep social media in its place and slow down users. And then there will be a push towards civic education and instruction.  …

  • Rethink Gifting Arcade Games for Young Kids

    Rethink Gifting Arcade Games for Young Kids

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: I made the mistake of asking my nephew what he wanted for Chanukah and got a quick answer. He wants a subscription to the Apple Arcade so he can play games. It’s only $4.99 a month so it’s not going to break the bank, but I am wondering whether this is appropriate…

  • Telehealth for beginners

    Telehealth for beginners

    Many doctors offices now require patients to register through an online portal. Where will it take you?!

  • Medical ID on Lock Screen

    Medical ID on Lock Screen

    My phone screen is locked. But I need to have peace of mind. How do I share my medical information and contacts in case of an emergency?

  • Reposting News too Fast?

    Reposting News too Fast?

    Smartphones are useful in emergencies when the power fails. But Is it bad to be too fast when it comes to reposting? It’s important to think through the impacts..

  • Personal Health Record on the Phone?

    Personal Health Record on the Phone?

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: When we went to visit our newborn granddaughter, my wife and I were stopped at the hospital’s check-in. They expected to see the TDAP vaccine record on our phones. I am up to date on both the vaccine and the phone’s operating system. But I don’t keep a personal health record on…

  • Are Wellness Apps Healthy?

    Are Wellness Apps Healthy?

    If you are looking to improve your fitness and wellness how do apps on the phone measure up?

  • VOIP, Good or Bad?

    VOIP, Good or Bad?

    Is it time to replace the landline with a VOIP? Will it work in an emergency?

  • Earthquake Warnings by Phone

    Earthquake Warnings by Phone

    Dear Ms. Smartphone:  My business has drivers that travel all over the Bay Area. Those who had the Android phone got advance warning about the recent earthquake last month. I have an Apple phone that is up to date but it didn’t get the warnings.  Fortunately we were all OK! But what’s the difference in…

  • Solar Charging for Phones

    Solar Charging for Phones

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: I recently got a new watch (the Garmin) that has GPS and it uses solar power to recharge itself. So, I only end up recharging it every 2 months or so. With the earthquake this past week, I was wondering why we do not have phones that can recharge with solar power…

  • Closed Caption Phone

    Closed Caption Phone

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: I know there’s a lot of attention to the dynamic island on the new Apple phone but I just wanted to write and ask that you pay some love to other features. My adult sister and I have hearing loss and the new Live Captions will be a godsend. We use our…

  • Sept. 11 Anniversary and Phones

    Sept. 11 Anniversary and Phones

    This week, on the anniversary of Sept. 11 terrorist attack, we take a Dear Smartphone “time out” to consider how emergency communications have transformed over the two decades since. The inspiration is three-fold:  in last week’s column, a reader lamented the difficulty of getting emergency services in a remote, wooded area; during the week, Apple…

  • Satellite  Phone and Home Emergencies

    Satellite Phone and Home Emergencies

    On the anniversary of 911- how to reach 911 and more….

  • Phones and Human Memory

    Phones and Human Memory

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: I thought I had monkey brain because I was losing items stored on my phone like business cards,  important addresses, and receipts. It turns out that these items were kept in my messaging app and they were auto deleted every 30 days. It was just by accident that I discovered what was…

  • Does Phone Size Matter?

    Does Phone Size Matter?

    Big Phone….Little Phone…Both Phone?

  • Emergency Alerts on Phone: Nixle

    Emergency Alerts on Phone: Nixle

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: I am going with my Mom next week to a local class for emergency and disaster planning. I thought I would get ahead of it by downloading some apps for our phones. She lives in a dry area of Sonoma that was badly hit in two fires. I would like to get…

  • Apps in War

    Apps in War

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: My family lives in France and they are using apps to follow what’s happening with our relatives in Ukraine. I live here and am honestly not familiar with using apps in wartime. I have been trying to keep up with the invasion on news and Twitter but am I missing sites? I…

  • News Makes Me Anxious

    News Makes Me Anxious

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: I feel  bad-tempered these days and my ex says it’s because I am watching so much news on my phone. It’s true that my phone is my main source. There is a lot happening out there and I want to stay informed. Maybe the news makes me anxious and worried? I want…

  • Should I keep landline for emergencies?

    Should I keep landline for emergencies?

    If I keep a landline phone for emergencies are robocalls part of the price I pay?

  • Phone Detox #dryJanuary?

    Phone Detox #dryJanuary?

    DryJanuary and DryPhone??

  • Safe to Bike Post Covid?

    Safe to Bike Post Covid?

    Dear Ms. Smartphone, I was getting my bike fixed, and they showed me a copy of the op-ed you wrote during Covid about commuters and ebikes. I know there are rules about driving and bikes- what about ebikes and phones?! Do you still think it is safe to bike post Covid? I am worried about…

  • Is Instagram Toxic for Boys?

    Is Instagram Toxic for Boys?

    A Mom wonders whether the flawless images seen on Instagram make boys feel bad too.

  • Parental Advice for Instagram

    Parental Advice for Instagram

    On Instagram should your teen ‘Show Up’ or ‘Show Out’ ?

  • Should Bicyclists Bring Smartphones?

    Should Bicyclists Bring Smartphones?

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: I just got a high-end, aluminum frame bicycle and plan to do more local cycling by myself, and also with a club. I am conflicted about whether bicyclists should bring smartphones on the trip. I can easily store the phone in a saddle-bag under the seat, but should I take a phone…

  • Vaccination Record on Phone?

    Vaccination Record on Phone?

    “Don’t Leave Home Without It?”…..does that apply to the vaccination card?

  • Vaccine Record on Phone..more

    Vaccine Record on Phone..more

    Would keeping a vaccine record on my phone be a healthy thing to do?

  • Vaccine Record on Phone

    Vaccine Record on Phone

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: I am hoping to get the Covid vaccine soon along with other members of my family. I heard that when we get it we will need to keep a receipt for it on our phones. I have not done this before and am wondering if this is so necessary. Janine, TIburon Dear…

  • Alzheimers and Smartphones. Friends or Foe?

    Alzheimers and Smartphones. Friends or Foe?

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: Would a smartphone help my Aunt who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease? Right now she has a landline and a flip phone but I am considering giving her my old smartphone instead of trading it in. Then I can send her pictures and images, plus plug her into more social media.…

  • Is Smartphone Making Me Worried Sick?

    Is Smartphone Making Me Worried Sick?

    Checking for Covid results on email brings even more angst with the avalanche of email messages…

  • Apple Watch for Seniors?

    Apple Watch for Seniors?

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: Saw your post about the Apple watch and raising free-range kids. Great idea if my kids were younger. But I have a Dad who is a free-range elder! He lives alone in a big house, it’s nearby. He is fairly healthy and still drives, but I worry. What if he takes a…

  • Phones & Disaster

    Phones & Disaster

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: It’s a disaster. My wife and I had to evacuate our home this week because of nearby fires. Now I am getting inundated with texts and calls from far-away friends and distant relatives who want updates. I know that we should be grateful, but we are getting worn down responding to each…

  • Family Setup Good Idea?

    Family Setup Good Idea?

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: I’d like to give my eight year old more independence since he stays indoors all day for home-schooling. But, I also think he is too young to get his own phone. If he goes on his bike or walks to the nearby store I want to know he gets there safely and…

  • Covid Tracking by Phone?

    Covid Tracking by Phone?

    Dear Ms Smartphone: Should I start using my phone as a Covid detective, specifically to do Covid tracking by phone? I am not in a high risk group but I attended a busy outdoor rally the other day where people got close and did not wear face masks. Now  I am sorry that I went…

  • Voice Calls on Phone

    Voice Calls on Phone

    Talk…talk…talk. ! It feels so wholesome to connect with friends near and far.

  • Prepare Phones if Natural Disaster

    “We interrupt our normal column to bring you this Emergency Broadcast…..”

  • Booking Trips for Parents?

    Booking Trips for Parents?

    Breaking news! Aug. 20: An appeals court has allowed ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft to continue treating their drivers in CA as independent contractors while an appeal works its way through the court.

  • Are Drivers Less Distracted?

    Are Drivers Less Distracted?

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: Just curious. Traffic seems better because there are  fewer cars on the road. But, now that we are all staying at home more, are we  less distracted when we get in our cars too?  Tommy, San Francisco I get your point that people are spending so much time at home during the…

  • Need Bluelight Glasses?

    Need Bluelight Glasses?

    Do I need blue light glasses? How do I separate fatigue from facts?

  • Selfies for Good?

    Selfies for Good?

    The Posted Video Kept Getting Shorter….but Funnier!!

  • Zoom & Telework make me sad?

    Zoom & Telework make me sad?

    We spend the day in on-line meetings and the evenings in on-line meetups. Does that make us feel connected with each other?

  • Corona Virus, Smartphone Transmit ?

    Corona Virus, Smartphone Transmit ?

    Will touching an infected user’s smartphone help spread the Corona Virus?

  • Phone Watch for Me?

    Phone Watch for Me?

    Dear Ms. Smartphone: I have never worn a phone watch, and am old enough to remember when Dick Tracy, the comic strip detective did have one. I see lots of folks my age wearing these watches and I am wondering if there are useful things to do with them or it just for style?  My…